NAPLES, Fla - New information into an elaborate heist at a local mall. Because of a WINK News story that ran Wednesday night, investigators in Sarasota and Naples are now working together to see if similar crimes are connected.
Crooks used metal cutters, rope and tricky tactics to steal $60,000 dollars worth of jewelry from Littman Jewelers in the Coastland Center Mall.
"It's pretty brazen," says Matt Sutter, general manager of Dehart Alarm Systems. "They have to get on the roof, they have to get up, they have to get down. There are a lot of mistakes that can happen."
"It's pretty unbelievable here in Naples," says Kerry Martell. "I've lived here 20 years and I would see this in a movie."
Crooks cut an 18 inch by 36 inch hole in the top of the Coastland Center Mall. They climbed down, using a rope, landing in Littlman's Jewelers. They smashed two glass cases and got away with watches, rings and more.
"It does seem like something you would see out of a movie," says Ryan Schwartz of Naples. "There was definitely some thought put behind this. I cant imagine how something like this would be kind of spur of the moment."
Matt Sutter is an expert in residential and commercial security. He says this job was clearly done by sophisticated criminals. "You need the floor plan, you need to see what's going on, you need be aware of mechanicals, plumbing, AC, electrical and know what you're seeing when you see it," says Sutter.
At this point investigators aren't saying exactly how the crooks made it on top of the roof, but Sutter guesses they used a service ladder on the side of the building.
"You have to get up there to service the AC units, so there's a way up there. They may have an aluminum extension ladder that folds out, put it up against the building, that gets you that access and you can get up there," says Sutter.
Sutter says it's likely the thieves had been in the store before. They may have even had access to blue prints. Start to finish he guesses the whole thing took about 10-15 minutes. "It takes a few steps to execute a crime like this."
The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office says they had a very similar crime at Kay Jewelers inside the Westfield Sarasota Mall in July. Deputies are still looking for those suspects and because of our story they plan to work with Naples Police to see if the two cases are connected.